- Know your material
The first step in being confident when giving a speech is knowing what you’re talking about. If you have to waste time thinking or looking things up on your phone or notes, the audience will be able to tell. They’ll think that you don’t know what you are talking about and will lose confidence in your ability as a speaker. As a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing it with every one of your friends, then it’s not something that should go into your presentation.
- Create a rapport with the audience
Before presenting, take some time to talk with people in the audience (if possible). This shows them that you care about them and gives them an opportunity to ask questions before the presentation starts. The best way to do this is by starting conversations with each person individually instead of just going up and making small talk for everyone at once. If there is someone from the audience who has done something interesting related to your topic, then make sure they get introduced during the presentation so everybody knows about their achievements. Getting people engaged early on helps create more empathy towards your message which creates more confidence in what you are saying because they feel like they already know you before you even start speaking!
- Be Prepared
Practice out loud a few times before presenting: Practice, whether its sitting down talking out loud or standing up, and practicing using gestures (without notes) so that when it comes time for delivery everything flows more naturally without having to look at your notes too much (people can tell when speakers are reading off of notes poorly).
- Keep Eye Contact
When standing, make sure to not only look around at different people but also hold eye contact with them for longer than usual (but not so long that it becomes awkward). When sitting down focus on making eye contact with one person throughout most of the speech but try flexing between multiple people every now and then just to keep things interesting (this allows other members of the audience to feel included).
- Get Comfortable
Don’t wear anything constricting or tight fitting unless absolutely necessary (a wedding dress may fit fine but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s appropriate for public speaking). Make sure whatever clothes you decide on fit well and allow plenty of room for any movements needed during delivery, such as gestures or hand movements.
- Use Good Voice Projection
While speaking, make sure that your voice projects well enough so that all members of the audience can hear clearly while still keeping energy levels high enough where they are excited by what is being said instead of falling asleep due poor vocal projection.
- Don’t Forget To Have Fun
While preparing speeches, remember why we do this in the first place; public speaking isn’t only important because it helps us communicate our thoughts, but it’s also exciting to share your knowledge with others.